Onward to Week Seven (7). Though the Pats barely escaped Week Six (6) with a win, win they did, against a quality opponent. But, the win appeared to come at a huge cost...as our injury ravaged Boys in Blue lost more three key players in Aqib Talib (hip), Jarod Mayo (shoulder), and Danny Amendola (concussion). Lord knows if this will be the week that Gronk finally returns. Don't you love the way that the media is trying to make a big thing out of how he's practicing with the team weekly, but not playing? Judging by how the Patriots are playing, do any of you really think that his teammates are so irked, that his situation is affecting the team chemistry? In any event, here's my picks, with the "Game of the Week" being:
1.) (6-0) Denver Broncos @ (4-2) Indianapolis Colts (+6): The Colts are planning festivities to honor the returning Peyton Manning to the "House That The Horseface Built". But, doesn't this seem a bit much? To my knowledge, Peyton has not announced his retirement, effective at the conclusion of this season. The Colts have moved on nicely with Andrew Luck, and appear to have a great chance of winning the AFC South. So, why would management decide that the time is right to celebrate the "Ruturn of the Horseface"? Does management really want to see Colts fans rooting for Manning, as much or more than they will be rooting for the Colts? The steamroll that is the Denver offense continues to roll...while the Colts are still smarting from their Monday night loss in San Diego: PICK: Broncos;
2.) (5-1) Seattle Seahawks @ (3-3) Arizona Cardinals (+6): Though the Cards gave the 49ers a game for a while last week, they faded under the brute force of a more physical team. Look for more of the same this week: PICK: Seahawks;
3.) (5-1) New England Patriots @ (2-4) NY Jets (+4): How many more injuries can the Patriots withstand? They'll likely be facing the Jets without their three best defenders, Vince Wilfolk, Jerod Mayo, and Aqib Talib. In order for the Patriots to thrive and survive this week, they'll need a much better performance from their OL...which has allowed 36 year old Tom Brady to take far too many hits this season. Both teams will attempt to establish the run. Judging from how badly the Pats' front seven got pushed around last week against the Saints, this could be an issue for the Pats' "D". That said, the Jets don't have a Drew Brees, a Jimmy Graham, or a Darren Sproles for Pats' defenders to concern themselves with: PICK: Patriots;
4.) (3-3) San Diego Chargers @ (0-6) Jacksonville Jaguars (+7.5): The Chargers showed their physicality in beating the Colts last week. The Jags gained a token of respect for hanging around for a half against "The Horsefaces" in Denver, and in covering a 27.5 point spread last week. Nonetheless, the Jags are the worst team in the NFL: PICK: Chargers;
5.) (2-4) Houston Texans (+6.5) @ (6-0) Kansas City Chiefs: The wheels are falling off the Houston band wagon, as poor QB play and, of late, poor defensive play, have taken it's toll. Houston QB Matt Schaub was cheered when he suffered an ankle injury. Look for it to get even more ugly in Houston soon: PICK: Chiefs;
6.) (4-2) Cincinnati Bengals (+3) @ (4-2) Detroit Lions: This game drew some consideration for "Game of the Week", except that I really don't think that it's going to be much of a game: PICK: Lions;
7.) (2-4) Buffalo Bills (+8.5) @ (3-2) Miami Dolphins: After an impressive start, the 'Fins have lost two in a row...and have glaring OL troubles. The Bills' top four QBs (E.J. Manuel, Kevin Kolb, Jeff Tuel, and Thaddeus Lewis are injured. They just signed Matt Flynn to fill in. Still, Miami doesn't score enough to cover such a large spread: PICK: Bills;
8.) (4-2) Chicago Bears (+1) @ (1-4) Washington Redskins: Though I don't see the Bears as a powerhouse, it's hard to believe that their underdogs this week against the (1-4) Redskins: PICK: Bears;
9.) (3-3) Dallas Cowboys (+2.5) @ (3-3) Philadelphia Eagles: Huge divisional game for both teams. Both have shown that they can score, but neither have shown that they can stop anyone defensively. Should be a fun game to watch: PICK: Eagles;
10.) (3-3) St. Louis Rams (+6) @ (2-3) Carolina Panthers: Both teams are coming off blow-out wins over disappointing teams on the road (Rams crushed Houston, 38-13, and Carolina destroyed Minnesota, 35-10). Both teams can play defense. In a match between QBs Sam Bradford and Cam Newton: PICK: Panthers;
11.) (0-5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+7.5) @ (1-4) Atlanta Falcons: Talk about disappointing teams, the Falcons are a mess. Though ampa has had troubles scoring, they do have a defense: PICK: Buccaneers;
12.) (4-2) San Francisco 49ers @ (3-3) Tennessee Titans (+4.5): After some early season struggles, the 49ers appear to have their act together. Tennessee is a good QB away from becoming a very good team: PICK: 49ers;
13.) (3-3) Cleveland (+10.5) @ (3-2) Green Bay Packers: With Brian Hoyer out for the season, and Brandon Weeden being Brandon Weeden, the Browns are a mess offensively. Though the Packers have a ton of injuries, they still have Aaron Rodgers, and, of late, have developed a pretty good running game: PICK: Packers;
14.) (3-3) Baltimore Ravens (+2) @ (1-4) Pittsburgh Steelers: Always a gritty, physical game between two teams that really dislike one another. This is a huge game for the Steelers. A win would afford them an opportunity to crawl back into the AFC North race, while a loss, for all intents and purposes, will end their season: PICK: Ravens;
15.) (1-4) Minnesota Vikings (+3) @ (0-6) NY Giants: The Vikings' QB situation is a mess, now that the Christian Ponder error is apparently over, and after Matt Cassel laid an egg last week against the Panthers. The Vikings newly signed QB, Josh Freeman, is likely to get the call this week. The Giants OL and DL have been terrible throughout the season. PICK: Giants.
As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome.
In particular, I'd like your predictions or analysis on how you see the Pats/Jets game, this Sunday. Have a great day!